The “Bucharest-Ljubljana Tour” crosses three countries, Romania, Hungary and Slovenia, takes you from the exotic Carpathian Mountains to the impressive Alps, from the vivid city of Bucharest to the magnificent old town of Ljubljana. On the way you’ll experience the local cultures and cuisines, the medieval towns of Sighisoara or Sibiu, the charming Hungarian city of Pecs and the famous Lake Bled from Slovenia.
Type: private tour, cultural tour
Distance: 2115km / 1314mi
Countries: Romania, Hungary, Slovenia
Accommodation: 4/3-star hotels and superior guest houses
Group of 2-3 persons – €2449/person
Group of 4-8 persons – €1899/person
Single Supplement: €369
Arrival in the capital of Romania. You’ll be transferred from the airport to Bucharest.
Overnight in Bucharest
BUCHAREST – FULL DAY TOUR
The day starts with a tour of Bucharest. The capital of modern Romania since 1859, Bucharest is by far the country’s largest city, boasting a rich history, fascinating architecture, a vivid street life, lush green parks, and a large number of excellent restaurants. You will soon discover that Bucharest is a city which has everything.
The tour will include the famous Revolution Square, where thousands of people put an end to a 45-year-long vicious Communist regime. Get to understand the horrors of the Communist period and the sufferings that an entire nation had to endure. Around Revolution Square there are many impressive buildings such as the National Art Museum, the Kretzulescu Church, the Central Library University, and several others. You’ll be given explanations about all of them, and of course, you won’t leave the area before visiting the exquisite art-nouveau Romanian Athenaeum, the symbol of Bucharest.
In the Old Town, you’ll get to roam its quaint little streets packed with restaurants, bars, inns, and many buildings with outstanding architecture.
The tour of Bucharest continues with the famous Parliament, also known as the Palace of the People. Built at the command of Ceausescu, the former Communist leader, the Palace is the world’s largest civilian administrative building, as well as certainly having been the most expensive to build.
After lunch, you’ll be taken to the northern part of Bucharest. On the way, you’ll enjoy a driving tour while you admire the wide, green boulevards, the impressive private houses and impressive monuments such as the Aviators’ Statue and the Arch of Triumph.
The Village Museum is the last stop of the day. Inaugurated in 1936, this outdoor museum boasts old traditional houses representative of the whole country, and in a short period of time you’ll be able to admire the many different architectural styles that contribute to Romania’s fascinating architectural heritage.
The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure.
Overnight in Bucharest
BUCHAREST – SINAIA – BRASOV – BRAN
In Sinaia, located at the foothills of the Carpathians, you’ll visit the local monastery, the oldest building in the town. Further on, you’ll be literally overwhelmed by the splendor of Peles Castle*. Built by the order of Carol I, the first king of Romania, Peles Castle is considered one of the most beautiful castles in Europe. The unique architecture and exquisite interiors are matched only by the beauty of the Carpathian Mountains themselves.
The next stop is Brasov, a city built by the German colonists 750 years ago which boasts a wonderful medieval architecture. Surrounded by massive walls, towers and gates, the city was also protected against different invasions by the steep hills of the mountains. Located on an important trade route, the city developed quickly, and the residents built one of the most impressive Gothic churches between Vienna and Istanbul, today known as the Black Church**.
The famous castle of Bran is the most visited tourist landmark in Romania. Built about 800 years ago when Transylvania was controlled by Hungarian kings, the castle became a major attraction in the ’60s when it became known as “Dracula’s Castle.” You’ll get to admire its beautiful rooms renovated by Queen Marie of Romania, and of course, you’ll be told the story of Dracula.
In the afternoon you’ll take a stroll on the roads of the village and you’ll get to know the real life of a Transylvanian village. You’ll admire the landscape, the traditional houses and courtyards, and the farm animals passing by.
* Peles Castle is closed on Mondays between May 16th and September 15th. For the rest of the year it is closed on both Mondays and Tuesdays. Each year the castle is closed for the entire month of November. Pelisor Castle or the Cantacuzino Castle in Busteni may be used as alternatives.
** During the cold months between November and April, the Black Church will be seen only from outside.
Overnight in Bran
BRAN – VISCRI – SIGHISOARA
It’s time to discover the forgotten world of the former Saxon villages. On the way to Sighisoara we’ll make a detour to the remote village of Viscri, a great UNESCO site. There is no asphalt in Viscri, just two or three dirt roads, the main one being quite wide. It also serves as a thoroughfare for cows heading out to pasture. This road is lined on both sides with beautiful and unique houses, built in the Saxon style. They stand there like immortal soldiers of the past, telling of a medieval history. To all of this, add one of the oldest fortified churches of Transylvania. Located on a hill at the outskirts of the village, this 16th-century fortified church still stands tall and proud.
The tour of Eastern Europe continues with Sighisoara, another UNESCO site in Transylvania. Built by the Germans about 800 years ago, the medieval citadel of Sighisoara looks like a perfect picture-postcard. It is the best preserved citadel in Romania, a stunning combination of cobblestone streets, medieval walls, massive watch towers and magnificent architecture. Add to these the House of Vlad Dracul, allegedly the birth place of Dracula, the Clock Tower, the symbol of Sighisoara, and the Church on the Hill, one of the oldest buildings of the citadel.
Overnight in Sighisoara
SIGHISOARA – BIERTAN – SIBIU
On the way to Sibiu you’ll make a detour for the UNESCO site of Biertan. Located in a beautiful rural area of Transylvania, the castle-church of Biertan is perched on a hill surrounded by old Saxon houses which preserve the medieval atmosphere. You’ll enjoy a tour of the fortress and church, where you’ll learn the history of this place as well as hear the funny story of the matrimonial prison.
In the second part of the day you’ll enjoy a walking tour of Sibiu. Hermanstadt, to use its German name, was founded by Saxon colonists about 800 years ago. In a short time, Sibiu became one of the most important cities of Transylvania. Sibiu boasts several medieval squares, including the Great Square (Piata Mare) which is the largest of its kind in Romania. It is surrounded by old houses, impressive palaces such as the Brukenthal Palace, and by religious buildings including the Catholic Cathedral. The tour of Sibiu continues with the other squares, the oldest cobblestone streets, and you’ll find out more about the legend which surrounds the Bridge of Lies. The tour of Sibiu ends with the Evangelical Cathedral and the former medieval towers.
Overnight in Sibiu
SIBIU – ALBA IULIA – HUNEDOARA – DEVA
Today Alba Iulia is a great Vauban fortification. It was the capital of Transylvania between 1541 and 1690. In the first part of the 18th century the Austrian Empire transformed Alba Iulia into one of the best defended citadels of the region. Several of the gates have been very well preserved, the third gate being a real masterpiece.
The tour of Eastern Europe continues in Hunedoara where you’ll visit the largest Gothic castle in Transylvania. Built in the 14th-15th centuries, the castle belonged to the ancestors of King Corvinus, the Hungarian king of the 15th century. It is here that Vlad the Impaler was imprisoned on his way to Budapest.
Overnight in Deva
DEVA – HATEG – ORSOVA
In the morning you’ll set off for the Natural European Bison Reservation in Hateg. The bison disappeared from the present territory of Romania at the end of the 18th century, and were reintroduced in the national parks in 1958 when a pair were brought from Poland. The natural park in Hateg is a great chance to admire the largest land animals in Europe.
The church of Denusus, one of the most peculiar stone churches of Romania, is the third oldest still-active church in the country. Located not far away from the former Roman town of Sarmizegetusa, the church was built in the 13th century using Roman stones from previous constructions. It is due to these stones that the church has a somewhat peculiar look compared to the traditional Byzantine churches.
Further on you’ll stop to visit the ruins of the former Roman capital known as Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa. Built just 40km away from the former Dacian capital, the Roman town was founded at the very beginning of the 2nd century as a Roman garrison.
The scenic road continues along the valleys of the Carpathian Mountains. The Roman journey continues with the Baile Herculane spa. Founded by the Romans in a lush and beautiful area, the spa developed into a major tourist attraction during the Austrian occupation. Unfortunately, after more than 40 years of neglect by the Communist regime, the resort is in danger of losing some of its most beautiful buildings.
In the afternoon you’ll get to see the Danube River for the first time. You’ll overnight along this magnificent river near the city of Orsova.
Overnight in Orsova
ORSOVA – TIMISOARA
The Danube River, named by Napoleon “the king of European rivers”, follows one of the most fascinating itineraries. We refer to the Iron Gates, a area that covers 120km, and it is here that you can admire the highest monument of Europe. The Decebalus Rex Monument shows the face of the famous Dacian king. It was carved in 10 years at the request of one of the richest business men of Romania. You’ll enjoy a boat ride along the Iron Gates, and enjoy the many wonders of nature.
In the afternoon you’ll reach Timișoara, one of the most beautiful cities of Romania. Known as “Little Vienna”, Timișoara has a 900-year old history. It is known for its Baroque buildings and for its beautiful squares. It is here that the revolution started on December 16th, 1989, announcing the end of the brutal Communist regime. You’ll walk around the famous Opera Square, now peaceful but where people died for their liberty.
Further on, you’ll take a stroll in the old town to admire its beautiful buildings and picturesque alleys.
Overnight in Timisoara
TIMISOARA – PECS (HUNGARY)
It’s time to leave Romania behind. You’ll be crossing the border into Hungary where the tour of Eastern Europe continues with the beautiful UNESCO town of Pecs.
The tour of Pecs includes a walking tour in the main square where you’ll admire some of the town’s best architecture, including the magnificent cathedral, the Cit Hall, and the former mosque, now transformed into a Christian site. The tour of Pecs will include the Zsolnay Museum where you’ll see some of the finest examples of this old and world-famous ceramics manufacturer.
Overnight in Pecs
PECS – MARIBOR (SLOVENIA) – LJUBLJANA
Slovenia is new country in your itinerary, and a country with many famous tourist attractions. One of them is the city of Maribor, the second largest city of Slovenia. You’ll roam the streets of the old town, you’ll admire its superb architecture, and you’ll stop to see the oldest grapevine in the world, just 400 years young!.
In the afternoon you’ll reach Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.
Overnight in Ljubljana
LJUBLJANA – BLED – LJUBLJANA
In the first part of the day we will visit Lake Bled, a stunning area located in the foothills of the Alps. The lake, surrounded by forests and guarded by the imposing peaks of the Alps, offers a unique experience. Known as a tourist destination since the 19the century, the area is known also for the church built on the island located in the middle of the lake. A boat will take you to the church.
Ljubljana is one of the smallest capitals of Europe but this works to its own advantage. It is here where you can enjoy the Italian influence, the Baroque architecture, the imposing churches and the cobblestone streets full of life, shops, restaurants and bars.
We will see all major landmarks of Ljubljana: the main square with Prešeren monument, Franciscan church and Three Bridges, the Congress Square (Park of the Star), the National University Library, Križanke monastery, The New Square, The Cobbler’s Bridge, The Old Square (the oldest street), the romantic river promenade, the Municipality Square, St. Nicholas Cathedral, the famous Open Air Market, Butcher’s Bridge, Dragon Bridge and Ljubljana Castle on Castle hill.
Overnight in Ljubljana
LJUBLJANA – AIRPORT
Today you’ll be transferred to the airport according to your schedule.
End of the tour
- Airport/hotel pick-up and drop-off
- Transport by modern car
- Accommodation for 11 nights in 4-star hotels and superior B&Bs
- Licensed English-speaking tour guide/driver
- Entrance fees to sites included in the program
- Danube River boat ride
- Lake Bled boat ride
- Flight ticket
- Hotel extras (telephone, mini bar, etc)
- Drinks (other than water)
- Other meals except breakfast
- Photographing or filming fees at the visited sites
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses